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Discussion Groups

Discussion Groups

Welcome to WEA Sydney's Discussion Group Program! The Discussion Group Program is a distance education based program with course range runs from history and literature into topics of philosophy and social sciences. Designed for group study (minimum of 6) at home or in a club or other community setting.

All DGP courses listed in the WEA Sydney Discussion Group Program Catalogue are available for enrolment – so don't miss out!

Simply check the availability of your chosen course with WEA Sydney as several courses get booked quickly. Full course information can be found using the links below.

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Glories of Georgian England: Houses, Gardens, Arts and Patrons

Join our six visits to Georgian England, to see its houses and gardens, not only the houses of the grand but also those of the not-so-grand. We will look at Chippendale who made furniture and Adam who redesigned interiors. At Lady Hamilton and Wedgewood who brought Ancient Greece to the dining table. We will see how ’Capability’ Brown sculptured... [More]

Southeast Asia: History, Culture and Australian Involvement

Southeast Asia is more important to Australia than anywhere else but most people's knowledge of it tends to be superficial and often inaccurate. Our media focuses on Europe which is of marginal relevance to Australia and where we have no influence or importance. This course provides an introductory overview of the region which matters to us and... [More]

Possums, Power, Passion and People - Australia and the Protection of its Environment

Learn about Australia’s history that began with a European mindset that was determined to transform an ancient landscape into a typical English countryside at great costs to its environment and indigenous peoples. Why did some 19th Century citizens raise the alarm at the ‘wanton destruction’ of Australian forests? Why did some 20th Century citizens... [More]

Austria: An Overview of its History and its Heritage

Austria has had a unique history owing to its position as the most easterly of the German-speaking countries. Its long rule over Hungary and some of the Slavic countries led to the assimilation of many influences from these different cultures, adding to its already rich heritage. This course will explore the history of the country, the special... [More]

Rebellion! Behind The Eureka Stockade

Just before dawn on the morning of December 3 1854, 296 soldiers and police descended on the sleeping inhabitants of the stockade which had been roughly thrown together on the Eureka Lead in Ballarat. Fifteen minutes later twenty-two miners lay dead and the rebellion against the authority of the Crown had been quashed. The issues which had driven... [More]

Portraits of the Netherlands: Holland and Belgium

This course focuses on the outstanding works of art and music that have emerged from the Low Countries: the paintings of the Van Eyck brothers, and the Flemish school in the early 15th century; the music of Clemens non Papa and Jan Sweelinck, Holland's greatest late Renaissance composers; Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Holland; Mozart in the... [More]

Best Of The Best: Famous Literary Characters

Of all the characters we meet in our reading lives, there are few who become very real to us – so real that we feel we actually know them. In this course we will look at how it is that writers can sometimes achieve this by the way in which they use description, conversation and interaction. This is not going to be a highly academic course, rather a... [More]

Literary Landscapes: Cities and Beyond

Complex, ambiguous; familiar and alien – these are the cities of the world. In this course we explore the writing that has created and exposed the landscapes and structures, both built and natural, of four of the world’s great cities. The main landmarks, social, historical and cultural characteristics and events, and both fictional and real people... [More]

Biology and Destiny

A perennial topic for philosophical speculation is the question of personal autonomy, or ‘what we can choose’ versus ‘what is pre-ordained for us’ and it is now coming into the realm of experimental science. We may soon be in the uncomfortable position of being provided with answers! In this course we will discuss various aspects of what its... [More]

The Fall of the Roman Empire and the Birth of Europe

For over 400 years, Germanic barbarians roamed across Western Europe and broke up the decrepit Roman Empire. In these convulsions, new nations were born and Christianity began its ascent as the dominant religious power. We follow the tracks of the major tribes and the outstanding personalities, down to Charlemagne and the idea of a new Empire being... [More]